Caps Fan Fest is always a good time. We’ve been several years in a row, and there is usually something for everyone: bounce houses, a slapshot “contest,” free prize wheels for people to spin, and all the Dunkin’ Donuts you could ever want. (Nothing’s better than hockey… other than caffeinated hockey.) And today’s Fan Fest had a lot of those things, but it had something else: THE STANLEY CUP.
This is not news. If you didn’t know Lord Stanley’s Cup was going to be the main draw at this year’s Fest, then we’d like you to direct us to the rock you’ve been hiding under, because it’s probably nice and cool under there.
Fans started lining up as early as 4:30 am to get their picture taken with that glorious silver goblet… and it’s a good thing they did. People stood for hours in 98* heat, sweating rivers under the blazing sun for their 5 seconds of fame. But for many, that wasn’t good enough. Many of the people that had started lining up at 9:30am (which was still earlier than the event was supposed to begin) did not get their chance to embrace The Cup That Ovi Slept With.
Kettler officials started telling people the line was closed long before 1:15pm, which was the posted time they announced they would do so. Hundreds of people didn’t get their chance to see their sweaty, glistening face reflected in glory.
And I’m not gonna lie: I was really, really, REALLY disappointed. I couldn’t help looking at all the other fans with a bitter hatred: their lives allowed them to come early enough. I had to pick up my stupid husband who chose an 11:40am flight into DCA. My kids weren’t gonna wait in line for hours in that heat, and I wasn’t gonna ask them to. It was one of the only times in my entire fandom that I resented the other fans, and inwardly questioned their authenticity. (“Those bandwagoners are ruining it for everyone. They certainly weren’t here last year…” were a few of my kinder thoughts.)
So I didn’t get my picture with the cup. I’m devastated. I kept glancing longingly in its direction, fantasizing about just making a run for it and tackling it in the hopes that someone would capture the whole thing on film before I got arrested.
And let’s not even get started on the prices they’re demanding at Carlson’s event in Bethesda. Bless that man for doing a great thing for charity, but ain’t nobody got the dough for that.
So here’s my plea to those in charge: Please. Please please PLEASE please give us another opportunity to hug that blessed vessel. Too many of us were there that left feeling like we’d been shafted. And I even have a cute baby (whose middle name happens to be Alexander after The Gr8 One) who was all ready to plop his chubby little buns in there for the photo opportunity of a lifetime. Instead, we had to settle for this one: